Ease of Access - Case Studies in Accessibility and Popularity of MMOGs

Ask just about anyone in the industry for one word to describe why World of Warcraft is so successful, and if they don't say "Blizzard," they'll likely say "accessibility." What does...

Ask
just about anyone in the
industry for one word to describe why World of Warcraft is so
successful, and if they don't say "Blizzard," they'll likely say
"accessibility." What does accessibility mean? Is it as simple as
lowering the barriers to entry or offering casual players a shot at
succeeding in the endgame? We'll attempt to define accessibility, then
examine three case studies in an accessible MMO, an inaccessible MMO
that by many accounts failed, and an inaccessible MMO that became a
success story.

Assuming a game makes
it into the home of thousands or even millions of customers, how fun is
the game? This stage of accessibility can be viewed as the real meat of
the product design, and may have a larger contribution to customer
retention than the other two phases. The whole purpose of a game is
entertainment, and that is, to have fun. What makes a game fun is
largely subjective, but most will agree there are some key components
here too.

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About The Author

Reuben "Sardu" Waters has been writing professionally about the MMOG industry for eight years, and is the current Editor-in-Chief and Director of Development for Ten Ton Hammer.

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